David Montgomery, Moree, North West NSW
David Montgomery has provided exceptional service and shown significant commitment to the Australian cotton industry for decades.
David left his family’s farm in Northern Ireland for Australia in 1962. He flew into Darwin at the age of 19 with 3 pounds in his pocket and found work laying bricks. He saved just enough to get out of the city and began working on northern grazing properties, gradually taking on more managerial roles while working his way further south to farming country. He was eventually able to acquire a block near Croppa Creek sold under very attractive terms at the height of the drought in the mid 1960s.
In the late 1970s he made his first foray in cotton with a small irrigation block near Pallamallawa which proved a great success. As a fledgling grower he was forced to sell assets in order to ride out the cotton price slump and high interest rates of the 80s. He later went on to expand his cotton growing operations to Emerald, the Darling Downs and Murrumbidgee over the next 30 years.
David was also instrumental in establishing the Dunavant Ginning and marketing business in Australia, of which he was the CEO for many years. Dunavant represented the first independent merchant to challenge the big three – Namoi, Auscott and Queensland Cotton. In 1984 he opened the first Dunavant office in Moree and the gin followed in 1987. In this role, he implemented marketing options such as forward contracts that are all standard practice today. He systematically broke down barriers of the Australian cotton marketing system.
His involvement in cotton industry bodies has been extensive and includes Chairman of the Australian Cotton Shippers Association, Cotton Australia Director (CA), Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Australian Cotton Industry Council (ACIC) and Former CEO of Dunavant Australia, subsidiary of the world’s largest cotton trading companies.
David’s contribution is driven by a desire to achieve the greater good and he has dedicated over 50 years to the agricultural industry in general and over 30 years to the Australian Cotton Industry. The cotton industry in Australia has been significantly and positively advanced through David’s involvement at all levels.